12 parties to go to on Twelfth Night in New Orleans



Twelfth Night — or Epiphany, or King's Day, or that day when you're finally supposed to take your Christmas tree down — returns Saturday to mark the arrival of Carnival season. Assuming your bones have thawed from this week's deep freeze, you'll probably be going out.

Here's a day-to-night list of parties and events we like the sound of on Jan. 6.

  • Carnival Kickoff. In one of the city's goofier Twelfth Night traditions, a Lakeview pizza place throws a free morning party to celebrate the arrival of Dong Phuong's king cakes to its store. There's music and breakfast is served at 8 a.m. at Pizza NOLA.

  • Twelfth Night Mardi Gras Mambo. Bywater Bakery hosts musicians Davis Rogan, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, Josh Paxton and others at a daylong party, while serving eight flavors of king cake. Music begins at 11 a.m.

  • Fly Circus Space Open House. We wrote about this organization's role in the burgeoning New Orleans circus scene in an August Gambit cover story; come meet local circus performers, see aerialists, acrobats and jugglers and eat king cake at its Twelfth Night open house. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. at 4820 Calliope St.
  • Societe des Champs Elysee. Now in its second year, this krewe gathers at Buffa's Bar & Restaurant around 5 p.m. ahead of a ride on the Loyola streetcar line. A masked ball at Siberia Lounge begins at 9 p.m.; tickets are $15-$20.
  • Chris Owens' Twelfth Night Party. French Quarter royalty Chris Owens throws a party to benefit her springtime Easter parade. Champagne and king cake are served and there are costumes on display. Tickets are $30-$35 at 6 p.m. at Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture.

  • Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc. The procession through the French Quarter honors the spirit of Joan of Arc. The krewe is known for its unique props and throws and has become a don't-miss-it activity on many Carnival calendars. The parade begins at 6 p.m. at Toulouse and Decatur streets.

  • Phunny Phorty Phellows. If you see a krewe of riders  and a brass band on the St. Charles streetcar line around 7 p.m., it's these guys. They ride every year to inaugurate Carnival season.

  • Close Me Out. The free monthly comedy/storytelling show that celebrates your worst, most shameful drunken misadventures also serves king cake from Gracie's Bakery for Twelfth Night. At 8 p.m. at Hi-Ho Lounge.

  • Tricentennial Fireworks. Just six days into year 300, New Orleans' Tricentennial fetes get in gear with a fireworks display over the river. At 9 p.m.

  • Where Y'acht Presents: A Twelfth Night Tribute to Steely Dan. In what is really a triumph of punning, New Orleans' favorite yacht rock band presents "Steely Danuary" as its first show of the new year and Twelfth Night celebration. Tickets are $12 at Tipitina's at 9 p.m.

  • Twelfth Night Space Disco. Space looks and gold lame catsuits are encouraged for a dance party at the Art Garage. Rumor has it there also will be "pandimensional exhibitionism" and holograms. The party is free and starts at 9 p.m.

  • Purple Rain. Though not a traditional Carnival event, an '80s vinyl dance party that nods to Prince seems very in keeping with the spirit of of the season. Bring your own green and gold at 10 p.m. at Saturn Bar.

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